Al-Sisi announces Cairo Declaration to end Libyan conflict    Investigations under way as a large fire destroys Amazon Distribution Warehouse in Southern California    North Korea threatens to permanently shut liaison office with South    India overtakes Italy's coronavirus passes as lockdown easing looms    Egyptian state banks collect over $10 bln from high-yield savings product    AfDB may offer additional funding to help Egypt amid COVID-19 fallout    Paris gallery seeks inspiration in ancient China's hats to enforce social distancing    Italian federation agrees to allow five substitutions in Serie A    Solskjaer talks up Manchester United mentality ahead of Tottenham match    Egypt bans sugar imports for 3 months amid global decline in prices    US officials block police 'extreme tactics' as protests enter 12th day    Egypt, Belgium stress importance of bolstering bilateral ties    Michael Jordan giving $100 million for racial equality, justice    Friday's prayer to be held at Cairo's Al-Hussein Mosque next week    Egypt Purchasing Managers Index increases 37% in May-Planning Ministry    Egypt reaches staff-level agreement with IMF over $5.2 billion standby loan    Convalescent plasma shows promising results in treating severely-ill coronavirus patients, says Egyptian minister    Airbus warns it may sue airlines over undelivered jets, paper    Jordan reopens mosques for socially distanced prayers    Dortmund's Sancho, Akanji fined for getting haircuts without face masks    Turkey's Erdogan backtracks on weekend lockdown after public backlash    Egypt reports 1,152 new coronavirus cases on Thursday – ministry    Facebook to apply state media labels on Russian, Chinese outlets    Moroccan actor Youssef Kerkour scoops BAFTA nomination    Cairo Airport Museum receives artifacts ahead of planned opening    Non-oil imports decrease 21.2% between January and April: CAPMAS    Saudi SMEs grant $200m to 2,176 Egyptian projects: International Cooperation Minister    US prosecutors charge 3 more police officers over George Floyd killing    How to keep children entertained and relaxed during quarantine    CAF draws timeline for resumed continental championships amid COVID-19    Hospitals treating COVID-19 patients to increase to 376: Zayed    Egyptian Football star Ahmed Fathy's wife, daughters infected with Coronavirus    TSFE to develop, operate Bab Al-Azab historical area    Sudan urges UN Security Council to encourage GERD parties to refrain from 'unilateral measures'    Misusing the Nile    Egypt's right to water    Culture Ministry discusses preventative measures for resumed activities    Egyptian and Irish theatre challenge the coronavirus    Egypt's Zamalek close to signing Angola's Papel in summer    We Are One: Global film festival launches amid pandemic    Zamalek re-hang ‘Real Club of the Century' billboard after removing CAF logo    Armed Forces neutralise 19 militants in North Sinai operations    Farwell to 89-year old Egyptian actor Hassan Hosny    Ethiopia says it won't accept Egypt's ‘historic rights' to Nile water    Egypt removes 484 illegal constructions and encroachments on Nile    Salah did not pressure administration to include players on team: Ghazal    Sisi congratulates Egyptians on occasion of Eid Al-Fitr    Egypt's 12 MPs came into contact with coronavirus infected parliamentarian    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

European nations struggle to agree on terms of economic aid
Published in Ahram Online on 08 - 04 - 2020

European governments remained at loggerheads Wednesday over measures to help the economy weather the coronavirus outbreak, breaking off a meeting of finance officials who clashed over aid conditions and a proposal to borrow together to pay for the health crisis.
Finance ministers from the 19 countries that use the euro haggled into the night for 16 hours by videoconference starting Tuesday. The meeting ended without a deal is to resume Thursday.
European governments are scrambling to put together hundreds of billions of euros to save lives as well as companies and families from going bankrupt. Many countries hit hardest by the virus are also those that can least afford the costs, like Italy and Spain.
But they are divided over how best to tackle the challenge. Italy and Spain, backed by France, want to throw all the EU's economic might into fighting the virus and damage from the disruption it has caused as soon as possible. The deadlock recalls the divisions from the eurozone debt crisis of 2010-2015.
On the table is a three-part package amounting to around a half-trillion euros ($550 billion). It consists of up to 240 billion euros in emergency loans from the eurozone's standing bailout fund, credit guarantees from the European Investment Bank to keep companies afloat, and support for short-work schemes that help companies avoid layoffs during what is hoped are temporary business interruptions.
Italy has rejected using the bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism. One reason is that the money is supposed to come with conditions to carry out economic reforms, based on the fund's original purpose as a bailout refuge for troubled countries. Italy argues that makes the ESM the wrong tool since the virus is no country's fault. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has dismissed the bailout fund as ``totally inadequate.'' Germany has proposed waiving most conditions on the money, but the Netherlands has pushed for requiring reform promises.
The issue of conditions raises the spectre of the harsh austerity imposed on Greece after its three bailouts during the debt crisis, with deep cuts in spending and salaries, official visits by an enforcement committee and the perception of a loss of national sovereignty.
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he and his peers were close to a deal on the bailout loans, company support and short-work schemes. ``We are mostly in agreement but not quite all the way,'' he said, citing the need for unanimity over conditions for the ESM loans and that he expected agreement before the end of the week.
He said the position of Germany and other countries was that loans should come with minimal conditions and ``should not mean that, as happened 10 years ago, commissars or a troika travel to the countries and develop a program for the long-term.''
Italy, backed by France, Spain and six other countries, had pushed to go even farther than using the ESM and rely on a shared bond issue backed by all countries to raise money at low interest rates and favorable conditions such as long repayment. Germany and the Netherlands have resisted common borrowing. Scholz said there had been discussions about a longer-term recovery program that could be discussed separately from the three aid programs under discussion but did not provide details.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire tweeted that he and Scholz ``call on all European states to rise to the exceptional challenges to reach an ambitious agreement.''

Clic here to read the story from its source.